The Queen was 'fascinated' by search for King Richard III's remains

The Queen is known to be a keen history buff, who talks for hours with her daughter-in-law The Countess of Wessex about the subject. Now further proof of the monarch's interest has emerged after she awarded MBEs to academics involved in the discovery of King Richard III's remains.

The Queen presents Philippa Langley with an MBE

When writer Philippa Langley and historian John Ashdown-Hill visited Buckingham Palace for the investiture their royal hostess seemed quite knowledgeable about their campaign.

"The Queen was fascinated by the whole project. She asked if we always thought he was buried in Leicester and I confirmed we did," said Ms Langley.

"I said once we'd gone into the research, the car park looked like a real possibility, it was a hypothesis, but a real possibility.

"She said 'Yes, to find a king in a car park is not an everyday occurrence'."

Historian John Ashdown-Hill was also involved in the project

The Plantagenet monarch was identified through DNA comparisons with his distant living relatives and analysis of historical documents. His remains were interred in March three years after their discovery in 2012 with Sophie Wessex, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester representing the royal family.

As the King's third cousin, 16 times removed actor Benedict Cumberbatch was asked to read a poem specially penned for the occasion by the Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy.

The reburial service took place in Leicester Cathedral with the Archbishop of Canterbury officiating.

Ms Langley said: "By finding Richard's remains, it's been the most powerful counterpoint to Shakespeare and Thomas More, who said he was the hunchback with the withered arm and the limping gait – and we now know it was a complete myth."